- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 24, 2007

Whatever the reason, veteran safety Troy Vincent accepted his Thursday release from the Washington Redskins with equanimity.

“I know they want to shake things up,” Vincent said. “They want to get younger. It was a question of where did I fit in?”

Vincent fit in well enough to start ahead of free agent bust Adam Archuleta just 19 days after signing last Oct. 17. Archuleta had been beaten out by Pierson Prioleau only to regain the job when Prioleau suffered a season-ending injury on the opening kickoff.

Vincent made a difference against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5, blocking the first field goal of his 15-year career in the final minute to set up Nick Novak’s game-winner moments later. However, Vincent pulled a hamstring two weeks later. He missed the next two games and spent the rest of the season playing behind Vernon Fox as the Redskins finished 5-11.

“I was an insurance policy in the event there was a playoff run,” Vincent said. “That didn’t happen, but I think I had an impact. I provided some veteran leadership and contributed on the field, whether in a role or as a starter.”

Coach Joe Gibbs said the Redskins obliged Vincent by cutting him before the free agent market opens next Friday.

“Troy said, ‘Joe, if I’m not going to have a home here, I want to know early,’ ” said Gibbs, who plans to have Prioleau, Archuleta and Fox compete to start alongside Sean Taylor this season. “We felt that with our situation, it would probably be best for us to let him go.”

Vincent will be 36 in June and as the president of the Washington-based NFL Players Association is the heir apparent to longtime executive director Gene Upshaw. However, Vincent isn’t ready to retire.

“I believe I still bring a lot of value,” said Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback for the Eagles. “I believe I can still be a starter in this league. I still have a burning desire to compete.”

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